Everest Base Camp Trek in July

This challenging trek follows the classic Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek route.  It takes in all the well-known names of settlements such as Lukla, Namche Bazaar and Tengboche as well as unique and remote locations such as Kalapattar and the base camp itself. 

This is the most popular trek in Nepal, and for good reason.  Seeing the highest mountain in the world close up is something we all dream about. Surrounded by mountains such as Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Thamserku, and standing amidst glaciers, glacier lakes and rivers, this part of the country is truly unbeatable.

It is a strenuous trek you need to prepare well in advance for. Regardless as to how fit you are in your everyday life, no matter how many marathons you have run or how many times a week you go to the gym, hiking at altitude is completely different.  The best way to prepare is to keep doing your usual exercise routines but step up walking or hiking, particularly up hills.

Preparing your gear is also important.  Just like you need to be fit, your gear needs to be suitable for the Himalayas.  Good hiking boots, appropriate clothing and a good sleeping bag are the basics.  

Preparing your mind is also important.  A positive outlook will get you far in the mountains.  Particularly at the times when your legs hurt, your skin is burnt by the high altitude sun, you think you are developing a blister…  Being able to look past these things and concentrate on the beauty surrounding you and looking forward to a good dinner will make your trek so much more enjoyable. 

Overview of Trekking to EBC in July

This is monsoon season in Nepal.  However, it does not rain frequently at the higher altitudes.  It will rain lower down the trails, at Lukla for example.  This may cause flight delays and cancellations.  Something to be aware of. 

There will be few trekkers on the trails for the next couple of months so it’s a good time to get a good rate for the best rooms in the lodges. Food prices are usually non-negotiable as it takes time and effort to get goods into the region.  In this season, with flight delays on a regular basis, some items may be missing from the menu.  But don’t worry, there is still plenty of wholesome food!

Some of the trails may be slippery and muddy with chances of landslides.  Your guide will keep you right as to what to do when crossing a landslide or landslide-prone area. 

Weather and Climate in July in the Everest Base Camp

At Namche Bazaar you can expect the temperature to be around 16°C (60°F). Pretty warm for the Everest Region!  There may be rainfall and most likely there will be cloud cover.  Making it difficult to spot the mountains at times as they peak out of the clouds high above you. Nights are still cool. 

Pros and Cons of Trekking to EBC in July 

The main drawback is flight delays and perhaps trekking through the rain at lower altitudes.  But if you don’t mind the rain it can add an extra story for your journal or Instagram!  Slippery trails are not pleasant however and you should ensure your boots have a good grip and are waterproof.

On the plus side, there are fewer trekkers on the trail and when the sun is out, and the wind blows away the clouds – there are the magnificent mountains in all their glory. 

There may be flight delays because of the weather.  Set your mind, and your wallet, to expect a few days’ delay. 

Preparing for the Everest Base Camp Trek 

Always prepare yourself for a trek whether in the spring, winter, or monsoon. 

Physical Fitness and Training

The majority of trekkers arriving in the Everest Region are pretty fit and regular hikers.  Very few arrive with no experience at all.  But it does happen.  For everyone, we recommend spending a couple of months ahead of time working on your fitness to bring it up a couple of notches.  If it is possible to go hiking in the hills in your home area, this is the best way to get used to what it is like in the mountains.  Several times over!  It may be useful to load your day pack with what you think you need on a daily basis, medicines, water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, a hat, camera and carry that with you for the whole day as you hike around.  Then you may want to revise what you take with you.  If you are planning to go solo, practise carrying your full pack too.  Then repack it a bit lighter. 

Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness

Acclimatization is a must.  On this trek, there are acclimatization days at Namche Bazaar and at Dingboche.  If you are trekking alone, do take these days.  Do not think they are in an agency’s itinerary just to make more money by adding days to the client’s trip.  No, they are there for a reason.  To save lives.  Yes, that is a bit dramatic but it is true.  The majority of trekkers will have a minor headache and nothing more.  But a few will suffer from altitude sickness that needs treatment and/ or for them to head down the mountains. 

Altitude sickness should not be taken lightly mainly because no one knows who will get sick and who will not.  Overall age and fitness have nothing to do with it.  Going too fast, not acclimatizing, and not staying hydrated, are major factors. 

If you develop a headache, monitor it.  Tell your companion, guide, porter, or lodge owner.  If you get overly tired yet are unable to sleep, lose your appetite, feel dizzy or feel sick you might be suffering from altitude sickness. Again, tell others.   For milder cases, the best thing to do is not go any higher or go down to the previous lodge if you are already quite high. 

 If at a lower altitude, you still feel unwell, go lower.  If still no change, then it maybe you have to give up your trek this time round. For very serious cases, there is helicopter rescue, so you do not waste any time getting proper medical help. 

If you are trekking with a reputable agency, their guide will help you and monitor your illness. If you are travelling solo, there are some health posts on the trails which we mention further down this page. Perhaps take note of them before heading off. 

Stay well hydrated. Drink a lot of water. Soft drinks are also refreshing but do not replace your water with them.  Take them as an addition to water.  Do not drink alcohol at high altitudes.   

Do not skip meals.  Food is energy.  Low energy will ruin your trek. 

You might be a marathon runner or even a trail runner.  But on this trek, don’t go faster than itineraries suggest.  Altitude makes all the difference to your overall ability, and not in a good way.  Besides, you came for the beauty of the mountains, not to break your personal record. 

Be aware if you have a headache.  Let others know you have one.   Similarly, if someone else is suffering from a headache keep an eye on how they feel.  Altitude sickness can cause confusion. People may think they are fine when they are not. 

If you are unwell, go down as spending a night at a lower altitude may be all you need to feel better and continue your trek. 

Altitude related problems can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. 

Essential Gear and Clothing

Here is an all-season list of gear for trekking to EBC.  More waterproof, fewer down jackets for this month! 

  • Sleeping bag and inner sleeping bag 
  • Trekking boots. Waterproof and already worn.  Good gripping soles. 
  • Trekking trousers and waterproof over trousers in case of rain.  
  • Trekking tops which are easy to put on and take off and Micromesh tops to soak up the damp.
  • Fleece jacket and waterproof over jacket
  • Socks
  • Gloves and a warm hat for evenings and a bandana 
  • Sun hat for during the day
  • Trekking poles 
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Waterproof cover for daypack
  • Dry bags in several sizes for your dirty clothes and other items
  • Nepali rupees for hot water, charging your equipment, soft drinks, etc. 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturiser
  • Water bottle 
  • Water purifying tablets or purifying straws for drinking water 
  • Sunglasses – so much the better if they are large and/or wrap around
  • Camera and waterproof case/ bag
  • Whistle (in case of emergencies)
  • Medical kit (including extras of your regular medicines in case of delays)
  • Personal hygiene kit: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, sponge, towel, toilet paper 
  • Washing soap for any clothes you may wish to wash. Take them back to Kathmandu.
  • Notebook and pen.  Drawing materials if you draw.
  • Phone charger and power pack

Obtaining Permits and Documentation

You need two main permits to trek to Everest Base Camp:

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit: Nrs 2,000 per person.

Obtainable in Lukla or Monjo.  Not available in Kathmandu.

Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: Nrs 3,000 per person

The National Park permit is obtainable at the Nepal Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu or in Monjo at the gate entrance for Sagarmatha National Park. More convenient at Monjo. 

A Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit is required if you are trekking in from Jiri at Nrs3,000 per person.  This is obtainable at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu.

Required documents for trekking permits: You need a copy of your passport for all permits.  For the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit, you will also need to provide two passport-sized photographs.  Pay in local currency.

Itineraries and Routes in Everest Base Camp Trek

All routes are open in July although do look out for news of landslides, potential landslides, and very muddy areas.    

Trekking with Helicopter Tour  in July 

Why not try our new 5,6,7,8, 9-day treks to EBC with a return journey taken by a helicopter?  A short and sweet trek. 

This is perfect for this season, no need to face slippery trails or muddy parts. Particularly with the shorter number of days (5 or 6) you can get trekking in, see around Namche Bazaar and Tengboche Monastery then get airlifted to base camp and the great viewpoint of Kalapattar. 

Modifications Due to Weather Conditions

There will most likely be delays in the fixed-wing flights due to the monsoon weather.  If you keep in mind that this might happen, you are less likely to be disappointed when it does!  Driving from the lowland airport at Ramechhap to/from Kathmandu will take a bit longer during the monsoon season.  Take plenty of snacks to eat on the way! 

As for the trails themselves, they will be open and accessible.  Rain will fall mainly at lower altitudes (Namche and below) although there may be rain at higher altitudes also. 

Major Stops and Highlights Along the Way

This is such an amazing trek with many things to see and do during it. Here are just a few of them. 

Flying into Lukla – the Hillary Tenzing airport – is always a thrill as it is one of the highest airports in the world. 

Trekking to Namche Bazaar means an overnight at Phakding, crossing suspension bridges, fast flowing rivers and taking pictures of the welcome arch as you enter Sagarmatha National Park. 

I spent two nights at Namche Bazaar for acclimatization with lots of time to explore the town and the villages around it.  

Visit the Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Heritage Centre newly opened at the equally interesting Sagarmatha National Park Visitors Centre. 

Visit the Irish Pub in Namche for some fun with other trekkers and locals such as trying to beat them at a game of pool.  Enjoy a glass of  Guinness while you are there. 

Look for the bars that run films about Everest in the afternoons. 

Seek out the bakeries for delicious cakes. 

Visit the Saturday market for local goods, and handicrafts.

Hike to Khumjung.  Hillary set up a school for Sherpa children here and a health post for everyone. 

Go bird watching. Try to spot Nepal’s national bird, the Danphe. 

Hike to Hotel Everest View. With its great views of Everest, sitting on the terrace drinking coffee is one of the simple yet wonderful things in life. 

Stop at Tengboche Monastery to meet Buddhist monks.  Take part in evening or morning pujas (religious ceremonies).  The views from the Monastery’s grounds are amazing! Please note, that it is usual to make a small donation to the Monastery. 

Lobuche is a small settlement at 4,940m/ 16,210 ft. Simple but very important as it is from here trekkers make their way to Everest Base Camp.  

Kalapattar is also known as Everest View Point as the views are even better here than at base camp.   Climb to the top at 5,500m – it is well worth it.  Trust us! 

Everest Base Camp. Here you are, and it was worth the effort of getting here!

Major Highlight of the Month 

There are no major festivals in the month of July.  Things are growing quieter on the trails with less trekkers and climbers.  Which is nice if you like tranquillity.

At lower altitudes, the forests and vegetation are lush and green, and the rivers are running fast.  The mountains are capped with clouds.  This makes for very atmospheric photographs and a feeling of excitement when the mountains do peak out! 

Other Highlights of Trekking to EBC in July Include:

Sunset or sunrise from the top of Kalapattar is a highlight of all treks in the region.  There is no reason why you cannot reach the top of this high ridge during July or other monsoon months.  

Checking out the Norgay Sherpa Heritage Centre in Namche.  Opening on 29 May 2023, exactly 70 years after his and his partner’s success, this is now on the list of things to do in Namche. 

Exploring Khumjung village to learn more about how Hillary paid back to the Sherpas for their help in his successful summit. 

• Although there will be fewer trekkers around, it is nice to converse with fellow adventurers after a long day on the trail.  

  • Reduced accommodation rates! Why not check out some of the better lodges at the lower altitudes, some of which provide massage and spa facilities? 

Mount Everest and the surrounding mountains. 

Accommodation and Logistics 

Teahouses and Lodges During the Trek

In the Khumbu region trekkers have been arriving for decades.  And before them were the climbers.  Today trekking lodges, known as teahouses, are well established and some are very comfortable.  But in general, they are simple affairs, with twin beds and shared bathrooms.  This is perfect at the end of a long day when it is cold and most trekkers are not stripping down and showering before bed anyway! 

You can pay for hot water if you really need a shower – okay so 2 or 3 during your trek is fine, and no one really spends time and effort on washing their clothes.  

If you wish to recharge your devices, you will also have to pay a small sum (around $3) for that also.  

Everyone eats in the lodge they sleep in.  The exception is lunches, which are taken in trail-side teashops (as opposed to teahouses where you sleep).  

Food and Water Availability in July in Everest Base Camp

Breakfast and dinner are taken in the lodge you sleep in.   Breakfast is the standard fare of eggs, toast, Tibetan bread, porridge, pancakes, tea, and coffee.  Filling to start you off right.  Dinner is usually a choice of Tibetan (or Sherpa), Nepali, Indian and Continental food.  The menus in the larger towns. Lukla and Namche for example, will be more extensive than those in the higher and more remote spots such as Lobuche.  

Drinking water is boiled water. Again, you will have to pay a small amount for this. You could bring your own purifying system/ tablets but be very selective where you collect your water from.  Saving $30 on water and spending a few hundred dollars on medical costs is not really worth it! 

Beer and soft drinks are available in the teahouses.  We suggest you do not drink alcohol until your last couple of days.  It dehydrates you faster than normal at altitude and also affects you faster too.  A hangover on the trail is not a good look! 

Hiring a Guide and Porter 

Porters and guides are usually available when you arrive at Lukla. But of course, nothing is guaranteed.  Best to sort that out before you arrive, if possible.  Or book through a reputable agency.  It is always safer to trek with a guide or a porter.  They know the routes, can talk the local language and are a great help if there are any difficulties.  And, of course, guides can explain the culture and name the mountains! 

Safety and Travel Tips

Monitoring Weather Conditions in Everest Base Camp in Everest Base Camp

July is monsoon time.  There is a chance of rain at the lower altitudes and even at higher levels.  But that doesn’t mean it rains 24/7!  You may be unlucky and have a day or half a day of rain during your trek.  

Finding out about the weather in the region is quite difficult.  It is more a case of looking at the sky!  

However, if you are interested in following what is happening up there on Everest you can do so through National Geographic’s own weather centre – the Everest Weather Station Network.  For the weather where you are, you can put the setting for this station at its lowest (4,000m) to give you an idea of what is like at base camp and lower altitudes. https://everest-pwa.nationalgeographic.org/  

Coping with the Weather and Altitude in July at Everest Base Camp

Above you will find our tips for coping with altitude.  The main thing is to acclimatize and be on the lookout for headaches or other signs of sickness.

As for the weather – waterproof boots and a rain jacket of some sort are essential.  Waterproof coverings for day packs and electronics are also a good idea. 

Travel Insurance and Emergency Services in EBC

Make sure your insurance covers you for trekking and for trekking up to 5,000m.  There are differences in opinions as to what ‘trekking’ is!  If you do need emergency evacuation the helicopter company will require proof you can pay for it – normally by insurance.  

If you require medical attention when you get back to Kathmandu, CIWEC Hospital in Lazimpat is the usual one of choice as it deals with a lot of trekkers who suffer from stomach problems or altitude-related problems.  They will accept insurance.  The health posts on the trials will not accept insurance.  You will need to pay cash for any services there.  Cards are also not accepted. 

Health Posts Along the Trail in Everest Base Camp in July

Please carry your own first aid kit for simple cuts, bruises, and ailments.  If you book through a reputable agency, your guide should be carrying one too.

For more serious issues, there are some health posts on the trails.  They will advise you also if you should turn back or continue on your trek if you are suffering from symptoms of altitude sickness. 

Himalayan Sherpa Hospital, at Phakding, opened in November 2022 offering outpatient and emergency services to locals in its 15 beds. More information can be found here http://www.himalayansherpafoundation.org/project/himalayan-sherpa-hospital-in-phakding/

Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), is at Pheriche and is manned during the busy spring and autumn trekking seasons by volunteer doctors.  It has been in operation since 1973, as a non-profit organisation with the objective of reducing casualties in the mountains. They give a talk on altitude-related problems every day at 3 pm which you are welcome to attend.  As a non-profit, any donation you would like to give is also highly appreciated.  More information is found here https://www.himalayanrescue.org/

The Mountain Medical Institute (MMI) clinic is found at Namche and Dingboche.  Please note the Dingboche branch is closed in the winter months, but will be open in peak trekking months, like May.  Staffed by doctors trained in the unique needs of people living and travelling at high altitudes, the clinic in Namche has a basic lab, EKG, and ultrasonography. Call: 985-2850021/ 981-3933179 / 984-1936205.

Be Responsible

Be responsible for your own health and welfare and be prepared for all eventualities.  Accidents do happen, and locals will try to help when they can by making calls, ensuring you are safe etc.  

Embracing the Challenges of Trekking in July 

The main challenge will be the clouds, slippery rocks, and muddy trails.  Flight delays are also very likely.  Aside from that things will be good.  It’s an adventure, isn’t it?

Tips for Trekking in July

• With less trekkers, you can enjoy the solitude and quietness. 

• Mountains will be a little cloudy at times – think about it as atmospheric. 

• Plan well for your trip.  From your fitness to your waterproof cover for your day pack every detail counts. 

  • Think seriously about taking a guide and/or porter.  It will make life so much easier if you don’t have to worry about your pack getting wet and weighing you down and having to cross wet sections yourself. 

• If hiking over slippery trails, pay special attention to the ground.  No one wants to twist an ankle, or worse.  

• Do book your international flight some days after you propose to get back to Kathmandu, just in case of delays.  You can enjoy so much more of the country while  you wait for your international flight.  If you plan it that way you won’t feel any stress. 

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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